Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta has said his forces will remain part of the African Union Mission in Somalia and leave the country when it’s secure and stable.
The president’s statement came at a time Kenya’s forces are facing hostility in parts of Somalia for their support of the Jubaland administration, which the Somali government has refused to recognize.
This month Kenya and Somalia agreed to normalize relations after months of diplomatic tensions between the two countries, which had differences on many issues, including the disputed Jubaland elections.
Kenya has been the only country in the region to recognize the outcome of the contest in which Ahmed Madobe was re-elected for another four years. The Somali government is planning another election for Jubaland regional state.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Thursday his country will be in Somalia for a longer term.
“As I have stated before our troops will continue in being part of AMISOM until such time that our objective has been achieved,” he said.
Kenya sent its troops to Somalia in 2011 to push al-Shabab and protect its borders from the group’s terror attacks. Months later Kenya joined the African Union Mission in Somalia known as AMISOM.